Re: DISCOVER/Neanderthal/Homo Sap.

erin rebecca miller (
Thu, 7 Sep 1995 04:05:02 GMT

In article <42ak3q$>, <cc3265@CNSVAX.ALBANY.EDU> wrote:
>In article <429rnt$>, (Erin Miller) writes:
>>Are you SURE they were _Homo sapiens neanderthalensis_?
>Well, that's what the textbooks still say.

Some do, some don't, some never did.

>>Lots of scientists seem to think they should be called _Homo neanderthalensis_
>> in which case, see the other posts on the many reasons why such matings
>>might not have occured (and even do not occur in sibling species which
>>*are* techincally capable of it).
>Lots of scientists also believe the alternative. Let's face it, in our
>field one can't know anything for sure, can one? So, I wouldn't ridicule
>a layperson for asking a legitimate question (like, couldn't they have been
>having sex?)

First of all, I am sorry if you read my posts as "ridiculing." My goal
was to point out exactly what has been noted oodles of times here,
including by you above, there are many things are are NOT known, and are
under great debate. Sure, all queries can be answered in the same way:
someone makes a statement based on innacurate data that they "know" as
fact. I suppose every single time it could be answered in the form of a
coutner statement "well, no we really don't know that as fact," or the
statement can be responded to by having the person question themselves as
to what they really do know. Sorry if it was not the manner in which you
would have responded, but it was certainly not meant to be "ridiculing."
Frankly, from seeing the posts I have seen, I would say this is one of
the least ridiculing and flaming threads that has occured on this type of
topic in a long time.

>There seems to be a great trend towards "splitting" lately, which may not
>be justified in this case.

And it may be justified. So far, I have not even stated what my personal
views on the matter are. The answer to that is, I truly don't know if
they were one species or not because I have not been convinced by the
evidence on either side. But what I have been attempting to do is counter
the "lumping" that has been presented as "of course that is the way it
is" because we DON'T know for sure, and the arguments of "splitters" are
equally as valid. But they apparently were not presented on PBS,
therefore they are must be wrong.


Department of Anthropology/University of Chicago/